Are you wondering if your Garage Door needs maintenance? Your Garage Door will probably tell you, listen to your Door. Squeaking, groaning, clickity-clacks, and chunk-chunk-chunks are all trying to tell you something.
Have you heard those guys on NPR that talk about car repairs? A caller demonstrated what kind of noise his car was making and asked:
“What does it sound like to you”?
The response was: “To a mechanic it sounds like two weeks in Hawaii!” [followed by snorts and laughter].
It doesn’t have to cost you the price of two weeks in Hawaii to keep your door running smoothly; the following are simple things that you do yourself.
The most important and probably the easiest thing a homeowner can do is to lubricate any and all moving parts, but not all moving parts need the same kind of lube. The rollers and hinges are the first things to begin to complain and all they need is oil; nothing fancy, just plain oil. Products with sticky silicones can attract dust from the garage and actually prevent lubrication from reaching the metal on metal contact. Products that are full of propellants can sometimes wash off lubrication.
One such product that I will not name here was developed to be a Water Displacement agent, the company’s 40th formula.
It does a great job removing water condensation from under a cars distributor cap but does not do as well for Garage Doors. A basic light oil is just the right thing. There are several products that are made specifically made for Garage Doors. Some you can find at almost any hardware store: ‘3-in-1 Garage Door Lubricant’ or ‘Blaster Garage Door Lube’ are a couple of examples.
Our repairmen also have lubes on our trucks that you can purchase. Areoles work the best in getting the lube into the little cracks of hinges and rollers but if you are patient you can drip regular oil onto your hardware. Once in a while the torsion springs across the header above the door can use a little drizzle when they start chunking.
Not all rollers are created equal. Some rollers have no ball bearings and consist of a plastic roller that rides on a metal stem. They are installed on most new doors and work pretty well if they are oiled three or four times a year, but if you are like most folks you have more on your mind than dealing with cheap rollers. The best rollers have between 10 to 13 ball bearings and have a nylon tire that makes them extremely quiet. They need oiling too but annual attention is normally sufficient.
Please, if you decide to lubricate your own door step away from the grease can. Grease will get stiff and sticky in cold weather. Rollers need to roll through the track, not slide. Some screw-drive Garage Door Openers need to be greased but require specialized low temperature grease.
#2 CHECK DOOR BALANCE
After you have the door oiled it is time to see if it is properly balanced. It is best to begin with the door in the closed position. If the door is connected to an operator release it by pulling down on the cord that is connected to the release lever.
Raise the Door about half way up and if it will stay there without shooting up or falling to the floor it is probably doing pretty good If not please do not try adjusting the springs yourself;
Garage Door springs can be very dangerous! Running the Door manually gives you an idea of what the Garage Door Operator is going through. Operators only guide a well balanced door and are not intended to lift all the weight of the door.
#3 DO A SAFETY CHECK ON THE GARAGE DOOR OPERATOR
A safety check involves being sure your door will reverse on a 1 ½ inch obstacle placed on the floor. It is also a good idea to see if the door will reverse while traveling down by holding it. If either of these does not work the force adjustment settings need to be reset.
You may want to consider changing the force settings seasonally. In the cold and wet winter months most doors need a little more force to move them up and down so may need to crank up the force adjustment. In the summer when all the kids are playing in the garage and driveway you may want to ease up on the force because it does not take as much effort for the Garage Door Opener to move the door and you can make it safer for children and pets. Always remember before changing the force settings to service the Door as described above. Most all Garage Door Openers have separate adjustment controls for up force and down force. The IR sensors (Infrared Sensors) need to be checked to be sure they are properly mounted. Manufactures suggest the best height to mount them is 3 to 6 inches off the floor.
The best thing may be for us to come out and service the door and we will be happy to show you how to adjust the settings and service your door so that you can do it yourself the next time.
If you have any questions about garage door repair, rollers, or anything related, give us a call today! We are here to help you.
Call us at 1-800-478-8428 or Contact Us here.